Arizona facing major nursing shortage

Posted at 7:38 AM, Apr 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-06 10:46:43-04

Nursing officials are warning of a shortage in the coming years.

Arizona could see a shortage of 50,000 nurses by 2030, which could impact healthcare not only in the state but across the country.

This is largely in part because of the rapidly aging baby boomer generation. 

The American Nurses Association estimates the US will need to produce more than one million new registered nurses in the next four years to meet the country's healthcare needs. 

Dr. Pam Fuller is the president of the Phoenix Chamberlain College of nursing. She says another thing working against the field is the booming economy.

"As more jobs for women have become available, women are going into other careers," Dr. Fuller said. 

Some medical facilities are getting so desperate to find and keep nurses, they have offered major signing bonuses, free housing, and even paid college tuition for the employees and their kids.

Chamberlain offers bachelor's degrees in nursing in three years and prospective students don't need any previous college credits. It's one of the reasons the school has students from all over the country. It's also one reason many are convinced this is the right choice for a second career. 

Student Jennifer Paris was looking for a new job and nursing ticked off many of the boxes she was looking for.

"I think security for sure...having flexibility because nursing is flexible compared to other 9-to-5 jobs. Of course the money! You can't say that's not a factor," Paris states. 

On Saturday morning Chamberlain College will host an event with the Girl Scouts hoping to inspire the next generation of nurses.